A Law Concerning Animal Food and Blood - Page 2 (series: Lessons on Genesis)
by John Lowe
God instituted and established three institutions on this earth: marriage and the family (Ge. 1.27, 287; 2.18-25), human government (vv. 9.5, 6), and the Church (Matt. 16.13-19; Acts 2). Each has its sphere of responsibility and one can’t be substituted for the other. The Church wields the sword of the Spirit (Heb. 4.128), not the sword of justice (Rom. 13.49; John 18.36); but if the government interferes with matters of Christian conscience, believers have the right to disobey (Acts 4.18-2010).
Opponents of capital punishment ask “Does capital punishment deter crime?” But does any law deter crime, including parking laws and speed laws? Perhaps not as much as we would desire, but the punishment of offenders does help society to honor law and justice. Nobody knows how many people learn about convictions and think twice before they disobey the law. The law also helps to protect and compensate innocent people who are victims of lawless behavior.
Not everything that’s legal is biblical. Regardless of what philosophers, congressmen, and courts may say, God’s mandate of capital punishment begins with “whomever.” It was given by God to be respected and obeyed by all people. It is possible for murderers to escape detection and punishment in this life, but not in the next. God will discover concealed murderers and sentence them to spend eternity in hell.
Man is a creature dear to his creator, and therefore he should be dear to us; God puts honor upon him, let us not put contempt upon him. God’s image still remains upon fallen man, though it has been scarred by sin, therefore he who unjustly kills a man, defaces the image of God, and does dishonor to Him.
1 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
2 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
3 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;
4 "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."
5 "Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death. However, if he does not do it intentionally, but God lets it happen, he is to flee to a place I will designate. But if a man schemes and kills another man deliberately, take him away from my altar and put him to death.
6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.
7 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
8 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
9 For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
10 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."